My students do not
> visit the museums, and teachers are unaware of the many, many
> resources available to them. My thesis project is to create a museum
> resource center in Decatur to service not only DISD, but also the
> surrounding schools in Wise County. Teachers will come to the
> resource center here in Decatur, check out prints, videos, books,
> slides, etc. and use them in their classrooms.
Dear Mary -- First, a question -- are you trying to get art teachers to
use your resources or all teachers?
If you want a mix of users, I would look at what your state curriculum
requires that teachers teach and what content students are tested on.
These are the areas where classroom teachers get stale and need new ideas.
There has recently been a shake-up in Virginia, as new Standards of
Learning were put into place within the past few years, and many teachers
who taught one subject the same way for years are now required to teach
completely different material or choose to switch grade levels. Those who
enjoy expanding beyond the basics or teaching in an
integrated/interdisciplinary style need new materials and resources.
There is also new cognitive information that recommends connecting
material to larger thematic units which deal with and build upon
experiences and community related topics -- the key is connections to what
students know and want to know. If I were you, I would look for and
survey some teachers who are teaching more than just "Weekly Reader"
units, and find out what there needs are and what the interests of
students in the community are.
Sounds wonderful. Keep us posted.